Budget processes are designed to be intimidating and minimize public ownership. Yet so many of our struggles rely on budgetary processes to succeed. Our team recently spent two days with PowerSwitch Action to help them incorporate popular education into their budget organizing work and build tools to demystify the budget process.
We started our work with PowerSwitch and their regional budget partners earlier in the year with our “Popular Education 101” training to orient the group toward creating liberatory community engagement and how to open and facilitate spaces for such engagement. Given how alienating the budget process is designed to be, grounding budget work in popular education is critical to facilitate a sense of community vision and ownership over the process.
At our recent two-day gathering, we built community with the PowerSwitch cohort (also as a means to drive deeper that skill-set) and developed concrete tools—including popular education codes—that they can to use in their home communities.
Our approach to popular education, including the importance of ritual, play and (physical) movement, has insured that PowerSwitch is approaching budget work as integral parts of popular education, especially when dealing with a potentially intimidating topic like budgets.
We look forward to supporting PowerSwitch partners as they implement these tools in their home communities!